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Everything You Need to Know About the Tenuous Cease-Fire in Syria

After nearly six years of grinding conflict that have killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced 11 million from their homes, no one is under any illusion of an easy fix.

av Tim Hume
2016 12 30, 2:00pm

Syria's government and opposition groups have agreed to a nationwide cease-fire and are ready to hold peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday, raising faint hopes of movement toward a political settlement in the complex, years long conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead and 11 million displaced.

Syria's military and the Turkish foreign ministry also confirmed the agreement, brokered by Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with the military saying that the deal was being made to pursue a political solution.

The deal—which excludes the jihadi groups ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and all groups linked to them, according to Syria's military—will go into effect at midnight.

"Reports have just arrived that several hours ago there was a development that we all have looked and worked for for so long," Putin said at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency.

Three documents had been signed under the agreement, said Putin: a cease-fire between the Syrian regime and the armed opposition; a package of measures to monitor the cease-fire; and a "declaration of readiness" to commence peace talks.

He said Russia, Turkey, and Iran would act as guarantors of the agreement. The three powers announced their intention earlier this month to broker a solution to Syria's nearly six-year conflict, sidelining intermittent UN-backed efforts, jointly led by Russia and the US, which have failed to bear fruit over the years.

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